Welcome to the AHRC Research Centre for Law, Gender
and Sexuality (2004-2009)
CentreLGS was funded by the Arts & Humanities Research Council for 5 years, from 2004-2009. A partnership between 3 UK universities: Kent, Keele and Westminster, the Centre was established to stimulate critical, interdisciplinary research in law, gender and sexuality. Over its lifetime, the Centre has foregrounded new conceptual and methodological approaches to its subject, and produced substantive scholarship in healthcare and bioethics, law and culture, and governance and regulation. With over 100 members across three partner institutions and a wider network of several hundred UK and internationally-based colleagues, CentreLGS has worked to build a vibrant space within the law, gender & sexuality field through a varied series of events – from small seminars to large international conferences, including collaborative colloquia in Canada and India.
While the Centre focused on encouraging new, critical scholarship, and theoretically driven, policy-engaged research, central to our project was building an open, collaborative, non-hierarchical intellectual environment, attentive to pluralistic approaches to questions of equality, social justice and diversity. These principles and values shaped our developmental work with postgraduate students – most prominently in our graduate-led annual workshop, our graduate exchanges, and in the leadership doctoral students have shown organizing and speaking on conference panels and in workshop discussions. We are particularly pleased that the Postgraduate and Early Career Network (PECANS) http://www.clgs-pecans.org.uk, which CentreLGS began, will continue with the aid of an ESRC grant.
Collaboration, intellectual pluralism, and a commitment to social justice also informed our engagement with non-academic constituencies. Two projects, in particular - the ‘Conversations’ series and ‘Feminism with Fizz’ - brought academics, practitioners, activists, novelists and others together in dialogue. Our conference Encountering Human Rights questioned, and tried to break down, barriers between theory and practice around human rights, sexuality and gender activism. And the collectively written Centre responses to government consultations on issues ranging from judicial diversity to equality, reproductive technology, and welfare legislation provided critical feminist (and, to a lesser extent, more radical sexuality) perspectives on the British Labour government reforms.
Over 5 years, CentreLGS has contributed to a reshaping of the field of law, gender & sexuality, crossing and subverting traditional disciplinary borders and drawing on a wide array of intellectual resources. In particular, the Centre has developed humanities-inflected empirical research, using cultural studies, history, political economy, and critical political theory to address the governance and regulation of (but also through) bodies, genders and sexualities. Central to this work has been the foregrounding of “intersectionality” (the interrelationship of different inequalities). Publications, including articles, books, and journal special issues, provide evidence of the Centre’s interdisciplinary, critical approach, and its emphasis on multiple forms of power.
Although the AHRC-funded phase of the Centre has come to an end, the initiatives the Centre began will continue in other ways. For further information on current developments, research projects and other activities, see: